Sleep is divisive — many people love the opportunity to rest their heads, while others would rather stay up and not miss out on fun activities. Regardless of your daily routine, you should strive for the average eight hours of sleep per night that all adults should have. Sleep sharpens your mind and keeps your body in top shape. If you’re not getting a full night’s rest, you should. Sleep provides you with so many benefits — but a lack of it can also lead to consequences.
1. More Regulated Emotions
What happens to babies and children if they don’t get a nap during the day? They become cranky when something else is working against them, such as a negative emotion or the feeling of hunger. Adults have more emotional regulation than children, but the principle still stands. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, you’re bound to be crankier when obstacles pop up throughout the next day.
Getting enough sleep is essential to performing well in all areas of your life. You don’t want your emotions to control you, especially when something doesn’t go your way. By adding in a couple more hours of sleep at night, you may find it easier to respond to stressors in your daily life. You might feel less anxious dealing with any issues that arise.
2. Less Inflammation
When you sleep more, your body has time to heal itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may notice that you feel more swollen or sense inflammation in different areas of your body. A lack of sleep activates inflammation, which is not good from a health or aesthetic standpoint. If not dealt with, chronic inflammation can lead to several issues, like heart disease or certain types of cancer, down the line.
3. Better Immune System
Sleep plays a vital role in boosting your immune system. Sleep creates proteins called cytokines, which play an essential role in strengthening your immune response to foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses. When you deprive yourself of enough sleep, your body sees a decrease in these cytokines and may not react as strongly to any sicknesses you encounter.
4. Improved Memory
When you sleep more, you’ll find that many of your functions have improved. One such function is your memory capabilities. Sleeping more soundly and deeply can help you recall things better. By getting enough sleep, you deepen your chances of recalling the knowledge you learned the previous day. Sleeping enough can be beneficial when you’re starting to train for a new job or working hard for finals in school. If you’ve found yourself unable to recall things recently, you may look into getting more sleep at night.
5. Fewer Symptoms of Depression
When you sleep more, you can fight off some symptoms of mental illnesses. Depression can be beaten away with some proper sleep health, among other things. Quality sleep can help you lessen the symptoms of depression, even if it can’t eliminate it. When you sleep better, you have better control over how you respond to your environment. Having a bit more control could lessen some of the severe symptoms of anxiety and depression, though it may not work for every person.
6. Reduced Risk of Stroke
Sleep can help you mentally and emotionally, but it can also help you physically. You are 15% more likely to have a stroke if you sleep six hours or less per night. That number might seem small, but think of how much you can lower your risk just by getting a couple of extra hours of sleep at night. It’s worth it to set a bedtime for yourself, even if it means you won’t get to stay up and finish the work or leisure activities you wanted to complete. Your brain and body will thank you in the morning.
7. Aid in Weight Loss or Maintenance
There’s a reason many diet programs tell you to get enough sleep. A proper sleep schedule can help you regulate your appetite better due to having a set routine. Also, when you deprive yourself of sleep, you may start to feel hungrier and need to eat more to give your body the energy it needs — in place of the rest it should be getting. When you don’t get as much sleep, you might feel more stressed, leading your body to signal that it should store fat. Getting enough sleep is essential to keeping your weight from fluctuating when you don’t want it to.
8. Smaller Chance of Diabetes
If diabetes is a risk factor in your family, you should start getting enough sleep to mitigate your risk. If you’re getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night, you might be at an increased risk of contracting diabetes down the line. Anyone concerned about their health and the possibility of acquiring diabetes should consider reevaluating their sleep schedule and making necessary adjustments to it.
9. Improved Concentration
When you have a job that requires a lot of concentration or classes you need to study for, you need to be able to focus. Running on a sleep deficit means that you won’t have as much brainpower to help you get through the tricky parts of your day. You’ll work smarter, not harder, and have a greater payoff for your efforts when you get enough sleep. It’s one reason why all-nighters don’t end well very often. You lack concentration when you lack sleep, and you spend more time on tasks than you usually would — which doesn’t benefit anyone.
10. Preserves Your Relationships
Lack of sleep can make you cranky and quickly lead you to anger. While sleeping more may not directly save your relationships, it can indirectly save your relationships by helping you feel better about yourself. You’ll be more understanding of others and can more easily navigate pitfalls. You’ll be able to help your friends through their problems and talk to others with more empathy. Overall, getting enough high-quality sleep can improve your relationships indirectly.
Sleep Well and Have Sweet Dreams
Sleeping benefits everyone, no matter age or occupation. While you might have to miss out on certain activities, you’ll feel more well-rested in the morning and ready to take on the day, knowing that your body will take care of you. While sleep isn’t foolproof in many ways, it’s a small adjustment you can make to your schedule that can significantly impact and yield fantastic results. Make sure you’re also practicing proper sleep hygiene, like choosing the right temperature and limiting light sources in the bedroom.